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“Phineas & Ferb” creators say that creativity holds the key to making the most of your summer vacation

“Phineas & Ferb” creators say that creativity holds the key to making the most of your summer vacation

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Are you looking to get the most out of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend? Well, then maybe it’s time that you heeded the advice of those two great Americans, Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh.

Jeff Marsh and Dan Provenmire
(L to R) Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire. Photo by Claudio Asquini.
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

(There will now be a short pause here for those of you who need to ask: “Who the hell are Dan Povenmire and Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh?”)

Dan & Swampy are the very talented guys behind “Phineas & Ferb,” that hit animated series which airs on the Disney Channel at 9 p.m. on Friday nights and Monday nights at 8 p.m. on Disney XD.

And given that “Phineas and Ferb” is a TV show about two step brothers who are determined to make the most of their summer vacation … Well, it shouldn’t really surprise you that Povenmire & Marsh have some distinct thoughts when it comes to how kids should be spending the months of June, July & August.

Phineas and Ferb
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

As Dan explains:

"You’re never going to remember your (summer vacation) in years to come if you spend the entire time playing video games and watching TV. But if you do something fun, inventive and unusual with your time, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life – and all of your friends will, too.

"(So you should) do something fun during (June, July & August), like borrow a video camera and make a mini movie. When I was a kid, I wrote a science fiction comedy that we recorded throughout my neighborhood on an old video camera. My mom helped sew costumes for my friends and everyone got involved. It was really cool – and something I could keep for years."

Phineas and Ferb play instruments
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

Swampy also has fond memories of fun times with his family, when Marsh’s parents encouraged him to try new things:

"I grew up in a very musical family and we always had tons of instruments around the house. Over the years, I’ve played the banjo, trombone, trumpet and guitar. I’d sing into fake microphones and create full rock bands with my friends and family. (So) why not learn a new musical instrument during the holidays? You might find you’re more musical than you imagined!"

But given that Povenmire & Marsh are the creators of an Emmy-nominated animated series, does it really surprise you to learn that Dan & Swampy strongly encourage kids to spend their summer vacation learning how to draw?

How to draw Phineas and Ferb Step 1
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

Now before all you parents out there start carping about the cost of pens, paper, etc. Marsh wants to remind you that learning how to draw shouldn’t really involve spending a whole lot of dough.

"When it comes to art, you don’t need special equipment. You can draw on anything and use anything to draw with, so it shouldn’t cost too much to get into it. Whether it’s a pen, pencil, crayon or even a piece of chalk you find in the park, you can use whatever you want. And who says you need a blank piece of paper to draw on? Use scraps or anything you find that might work!"

So how do you actually learn how to draw? Well, according to Dan, the real key to getting started is copying.

How to draw Phineas and Ferb Step 2
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

"One of the things that helped me (learn how to draw was) copying. If I saw a drawing I really liked in a magazine or comic book, I would copy that drawing line-for-line and it showed me a lot of shortcuts. It taught me a kind of cartooning shorthand. I don’t mean trace these pictures. I’d just look at a drawing, analyze it and copy it line-for-line to see how the artist drew the picture in the first place. I’d then incorporate the techniques into my own art."

Now some folks might discourage kids to learn how to draw via copying. But as Swampy explains …

“ … there is no right or wrong way to draw. Draw what makes you happy and never worry about somebody saying, "Oh, that isn’t a good drawing." There are so many, infinite drawing styles out there. Your work doesn’t have to look like it’s straight out of a comic book or straight out of an art book. As long as you’re expressing yourself and you’re getting a reaction, then that’s good."

How to Draw Phineas and Ferb Step 3
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

More importantly, don’t just think of art as something that you have to do with paints & an easel. If you really to learn how to draw, Povenmire suggests that you …

".. take a doodle pad with you wherever you go so that you can practice drawing anywhere in the world. I used to draw flipbooks in the corner of my schoolbooks, which were a fun way to learn simple animation. I’d draw a bouncing ball and when you flipped through the book, the ball would bounce away. There are loads of animated scenes you could come up with. Be creative and go for it!"

Marsh is also a big fan of always carrying a notebook / sketch pad with you because …

How to draw Phineas and Ferb Step 4
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

" … you never know when a creative idea might pop into your head. Write down all of your ideas: doodles, pictures, diagrams, mini stories and funny names for characters – everything!"

But that said, Swampy wants to remind everyone that you don’t really need a notebook and/or a sketch pad in order to create art:

"Some of my favorite drawings were created by a guy who used to draw caricatures on his newspaper every morning of people sitting near him on the train. He would draw these caricatures in ink pen on the newspaper’s print. It wasn’t a clean, white sheet of paper, but he had reams of these drawings and they were the coolest pictures I’ve ever seen."

How to draw phineas and Ferb Step 5
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

In fact, sometimes when you use an unconventional piece of paper, you can wind up with a really remarkable work of art. As Dan recalls:

"I used to really enjoy creating posters for my favorite films when I was younger. When the shark movie, Jaws, came out, I got a big sheet of fluorescent green paper and colored in the entire page with a big, black marker – apart from the outline of a shark. After it was finished, all you could see was this shark in fluorescent green against a black background. The shark glowed in the dark and looked really cool!"

Swampy agrees that kids should spend their summer tackling all sorts of art projects, be they posters or comic books.

How to draw Phineas and Ferb Step 6
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

"I was always creating my own comics when I was a kid. I’d make up loads of different characters and write a story around them. You don’t have to be brilliant at art to make a comic book. Stick figures will do. All you need is a fun story and a lot of imagination."

Of course, what also helps in this situation is to have supportive parents. People who’ll really get behind their kids as they attempt to spread their wings artistically. As Povenmire says:

"Phineas And Ferb is loosely inspired by when Swampy and I were kids. We had very creative parents who pushed our creativity. They would always be getting us to do interesting, creative things including building and creating. We always think it’s a good thing to use your imagination and make it come to life, whether you want to build a fort or create art of some description or invent your own game or even take a video camera out to make a movie. Do something fun to get your creativity flowing."

Phineas and Ferb Bollywood style
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

With the hope that this might help kickstart your kids’ creativity, Dan & Swampy provided the drawings that I used to illustrate today’s article. Which will then walk you through how to draw the title characters from “Phineas & Ferb.”

Mind you, if you’d like to hear more of Povenmire & Marsh’s advice when it comes to creativity (or you’d just like to hear some great behind-the-scenes stories about “Phineas and Ferb”), you should probably check out their panel at this year’s Comic-Con. Which will be held on Sunday, July 26th starting at 10 a.m.

Anyway, that’s Dan & Swampy’s advice when it comes to making the most of your summer vacation. So go Fourth … and have fun.

Phineas and Ferb<a mce_thref=
Copyright 2009 Disney Channel. All Rights Reserved

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  • I really really like this show.....my wife and I enjoy watching it with the kiddos.. very witty and fun....nice job fellas.


  • This is my favorite show on Disney. My kids think I'm crazy the way I laugh out loud throughout the entire show. It reminds me of Seinfeld with the storylines overlapping and always wrapping around.

    For Father's Day my family made P&F t-shirts, Dad, Mom, Phineas, Ferb & Isabella (my oldest refused to be Candace, although we made one for her BFF who often goes to WDW with us). We get more comments about those shirts and how they love P&F and where can they get the shirts. Sadly Disney Marketing hasn't picked up on the popularity of these characters!

    btw, I think the next ride at WDW should be the Roller Coaster that P&F built!

    Hey, Where's Perry in this article?

  • its kinda easy

  • i like this

  • it is easy

  • you are easy to draw a little bit

  • please go.

  • this is a fun thing to do.


  • And*

  • phineas

  • wow candas is so beutifull soso much beutifull i love candasw

  • I love phineas and ferb

  • yo i love ferd i want to be on the show

  • I'm on Phineas and Ferb i am Candace its great fun

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